Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Legalizing of Prostitution as a Trade:Management guru's perspective

Today the author will like to write a blog that deals with a very controversial issue.It is about legalizing Prostitution as a trade.Before the advent of the blog the author will like to clarify the fact that he doesn’t intend to promote or even justify prostitution. The philosophical ground on which the blog is written is that “ If you cannot control something it’s better to accept it”.

From the past many thousand years prostitution had been in practice. Some Historians even claim that it is the oldest trade in the world.Even in the present scenario it’s prevalent everywhere in the world including India ,there are red light areas in the big cities, sophisticated rackets are operated in hotels & hostels, “Badnaam mohallaz"(ill reputed colonies)are in small towns and kothas( house of a prostitute is also known as kothas in India)are in villages. It’s a universal concept in India. Though the idea of legalizing prostitution in India may not be digested well by the self proclaimed puritans and custodians of Indian culture but seen with a managerial & Socio economic perspective there is a very strong reason to support it ( Though in the land of KAMA SUTRA & KUJHRAHO, why should prostitution be prohibited on cultural grounds too, in the land where there had always been a connection between sexuality & spirituality why should expression of sex in any form be a taboo, though these are again valid points but the author will not like to delve into this, the analysis will be purely managerial.)

Procedure of legalization of prostitution:-

Legalize the process.

• Provide license to prostitutes.

• Practicing it without license should be strictly prohibited.

• Proper sexual education and medical facilities should be provided to prostitutes.

• The entire process should be regulated and a particular code of conduct should be put in practice. Tampering of this by any one whether by the prostitutes or the customer should be a culpable offence.

• Like any other trade prostitution has to be a trade and taxes should be charged accordingly.

• The entire system should be very flexible so that anyone can join & leave the business

• A proper database should be maintained & updated , the entire activity can be taken under the ministry Health/commerce/tourism.

Social benefits:-

• Many a time’s girls and women are forced into the business; once licensing will come into picture no one will be forced. Whoever will come will come with her own interest.

• Hubs of prostitution are always run with the help of close nexus between local mafias,police and political machinery. Once govt. will come into the picture the nexus will become ineffective.

• Proper sexual education can be provided to existing as well as new entrants. This will help in the prevention of sexual diseases.

• Many a times it is seen that prostitutes are sexually and physically assaulted. Once the entire system will come under the govt. ambit, a code of conduct can be set into practice. This will provide insulation to the prostitutes from inhuman behavior.

Economic Benefits:-

• Taxes will help the govt. in making earnings.

• The very same earnings can be spent on providing general health and education facilities to prostitutes and their family members, in distributing free condoms and giving sexual education to them.

• If someone feels like coming out of the trade, she could be rehabitated from the same earning.

• A regulatory frame work will (should) also ensure better fee for prostitutes thus resulting in their well being.

The entire system will not be socially as well as economically beneficial but will also be self-sustaining. Only thing that is needed is a fresh insight into the issue with a practical approach. Rationality must prevail over the tendency of moral policing.

(a>Views here are personal and are not intended to hurt any kind of social, cultural or religious sentiment.
b> Thoug the blog has been written with keeping India in mind but the idea can be used anywhere)


  1. Still not in favor of it...What about the religious issues? legalizing it means, u r permitting it. I think there are other industries in India and Pakistan needs to upgrade rather Prostitution ....

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  2. Yaar paritosh, I think licensing is there for prostitutes in mumbai. I am not sure though. Regarding forcible entry to the trade, it may still go on as girls who are poor will be sold by their parents to this trade. The problem is the outlook of the society towards this trade. Any business if it is considered as mean or lowly, will not attract anybody and whoever will join it does so forcibly or out of circumstances. Its like a job of sweeper or cobbler etc. Nobody wants to make it a career like engineer or doctor. No girl will ever say "I want to become a prostitute when I grow up" as it is considered bad. If it is like the Vijayanagara Kingdom, where the society accepts the trade as respectable just like any other profession, then what u say may become feasible. However, that is not possible.
    Secondly I dont think there will be cosiderable revenue generation from the trade for the government as the fee charged is not high enough and the people themselves hesitate to go openly. So there is little chance for it to become a big commercial succes like other trades.

  3. Thanks for the comments anup....

    but few things should be considered:-
    1> i am never sayin that its a respectable trade,only thing which i want to say is that if u cannot controll some thing its better accept, and accept it in such a fashion such that some good can be achieved
    2> once you will start licensing it will be very tough to sell them, because proper precautions has to b taken into consideration.
    3> Reevenue generation will be high because after regulating the trade it will tough to finanacially exploit a prostitute, wgae rates has to be fixed and one should not eb paid below that amount...

    Havinngs said this i know it well that its easier said than done

  4. nice,,but consider the deadweight loss associated with taxing the prostitutes,,,to quench the sexual thirst a marginalised buyer would not like to pay taxes in addition and may fear the social outcome if his identity is leaked out further as the govt would enter the sector it would lead to more discrimination as officials would prefer to sex with ... See Morethe best and cases of assault and ignorance of human dignity would be obivous also the corrupt govt oficials would threat the buyer to pay them more otherwise they will leak their identity and also how to determine tax brackets would be highly confusing as prostitutes are paid diferently,,,the entry of govt sector in between of these parties would affect the level of surplus that both achieve during the bargaining process to determine rates,,,,also sexual desires of a person may vary diferently,,as if some may prefer some other style while intercourse which may be painfull for the prostitute and will add to assault and sexual torcher,,,,,

    i agree with ur point to legalise it but think of some robust model which may address these issues also,,,,

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  7. Hey Pari...agree with you but there are so many legal n religious issues are there. Also implementation is not practical. For instance Tax payment is impossible as the buyer of the "service" will not agree to disclose his identity, and the payment can't be traced in any circumstances.

  8. @ Nitish kashyap...well after reading ur terminologies i must say that I ma foreeing a Legendry economist:).
    btw as much taxation is concern it is for the prostitutes not for the customers.

  9. @ Abhiseck soni....hey soni nice 2 see after such long gap,n thanks 4 joining d blog...well as much taxation is concern it is for prostitutes nt for customers, as much religion is concern then it has a vague dimension because you do not who is d exact authority that has d right 2 decide what is right n what is wrong

  10. @nitish ...

    as much style is concern then their is nothing wrong in what kind of style one wants 2 prefer but based on d style one has to pay charges....if its painfull then high charge has to be fixed

  11. the burden of tax is always shared between the buyer and seller no matter the tax is on the prostitutes but finallty its impact would be felt by both parties,,,,in particular it wud depend upon their elasticity for the even if the tax is on the prostitute it would be shared.....the end result wud be the consumer would end paying more n prostitutes would receive less,,,the monetary gap will go the govt as tax,,,do u agree,,,

  12. thats what i stated on the one hand u r taking of reduing human assault n on the other u r allowing the person to do what he wish,,,so it wud add to the trouble of those prostitutes,,,now they even can't protest because the process is legal.once they get in it's like a trap,,ur model didn't throw light on these aspects

  13. Hey Pari....Great blog yaar. My point is that I dont see any practical way to track all the transactions between prostitutes and customers. In any case customer is not going to pay receipts for "service" and no bank transaction will be involved. It is merely impossible for the govt to assess the income of prostitutes.

  14. i think whatever justification gets associated with it,but prostitution will never become legalized due to the prevailing mentality.The problem is that those who are the actual customers wil be the first one to deny its legalization. I am sure you might be getting my idea,I am talking about these lawmakers and law passers-the politicians.

  15. @nitish....

    well its true that tax has to be shared b/w the customer and the seller and part of it will be transfered to the end user but ....
    the basic purpose of the model is to increase the fee amount of prostitutes are underpaid because its an illlegal trait...once its legalized based on the kind of service nad market value fee can be with an incresed fee if some amount gets transfered to the govt. as tax then there is no harm....

    2) as much physical assault is concern then yes in some specific cases thre will be assaults but at the same time if you are paid for it then there is no will be a gentle man's agreement....the problem happens when u are assaulted and at d same time u r also underpaid

  16. Agreed with all the points but like all govt initiatives it will be infected by red tapism and corruption. Can't imagine private sector handling this issue!!!
    So instead of legalizing prostitution, we can concentrate our efforts on providing a respectable alternative source of income for women like which can really help to build our nation rather than exploiting an existing stigma just for economical benefit.
    A woman harvesting crops is better than one g
    ratifying vile needs of men.

    Similar debates are going on legalizing of prohibited drugs also. The proponents say it will allow better control on the use and trade of these drugs and it will help to increase govt tax collection.(In few states smoking marijuana is legalized). But is it right to legalize every thing which we cannot control?

    No doubt legalizing prostitution will help to improve working condition of prostitues but it won't uplift women's condition in long run.

    And as Jawaharlal Nehru had said “You can tell the condition of the nation by looking at the status of women.”
    What kind of nation are we building when dehumanizing of women will be the source of income for our govt.

    Is our country not even capable of providing its citizens a respectable job. Do we have to sell flesh of our mothers and sisters just for a miniscule gain in govt taxes(which goes in pockets of demagogues and corrupt babus).

    And I think Indian women are much more capable and self sufficient than the archaic times referred.
    It's strange that in a country of mother tersa and maharani laxmi bai women are not allowed to join the combat forces but prostitution is getting proliferated in such a rapid manner that we are discussing to legalize it.....

    Thanks for bringing this issue though.

    PS: Nothing mentioned about male prostitution. Guess men as always will do it for free(not applicable for homos, personally speaking :) ).

  17. @PARTH
    Thanks for the detailed discription parth...1st up all I will like to make it very clear that even I do accept ur points and i personally hate the idea of marginalizing any individual (be it a woman, man or for that matter any one ) as an object of sex...but the point is
    1> will mere rhetorics work
    2> In a state of utopia where there is where evety individual has money and social respect this is nt needed, but is a developing nation like India similar to state of utopia.
    3> What is wrong if rathere than singing the songs we legalize it n provide prostitutes proper sex education.(That will help in controling a good amount of sexual deseases)
    4> N what about making money n investing it back for providing better edducation 2 the kids of prostitutes...(So that next time no one is forced to be a prostitute again )